Dope – Movie Review
Dope – R
Release Date: Fri 19 Jun 2015
In present day Inglewood, CA, three friends are trying to survive high school with good grades. They are in a goofy punk band together and are obsessed with 90’s hip-hop culture, with haircuts and clothing straight out of that era. When they accept an invitation to a drug dealer’s birthday party, things spiral out of control as they escape a police raid only to find that the drug dealer hid his stash in one of their backpacks. The movie focuses on Malcolm, who must juggle his SATs and Harvard ambition with being bullied and trying to survive getting rid of the drugs without creating further consequences.
From the trailers, I saw this movie either going in a comedic direction like CB4 or going full on dramatic. Instead, it’s a good mixture of the two with a lot more depth and exploration of its themes than one would expect. The use of 90’s era hip-hop is a genius device as it is now somewhat universal. The protagonists identify as geeks who are into the nostalgia of the 90’s and use it as an escape from their current-day problems. This is also an interesting twist, as 90’s hip-hop, especially what came out of their surrounding neighborhoods came out of much of the same culture of poverty and crime that they are living in today.
The movie has an incredibly satisfying ending that I will not spoil here. I found it absolutely riveting start to finish and highly recommend it to those mature enough for R-rated content.
Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: